Horse racing

Discussion in 'The Fire Hydrant' started by JacksonsMom, May 4, 2014.

  1. JacksonsMom

    JacksonsMom Active Member

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    How do you feel about it?

    I uses to hate it and think it was cruel. And honestly sometimes it still bothers me a bit.

    But my stepdad owns like 10 race horses and honestly? These horses live a great life, are treated with the best veterinary care, and once they retire they live on farms and I know a few of the people that now have the ex racers.

    I guess I'm just kind of somewhere in the middle. It's my stepdads passion and hobby so I'm only really hearing his side.
     
  2. Dizzy

    Dizzy Sit! Good dog.

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    Like most animal sports I think there a fair chunk of good and a fair chunk of bad....

    When it's good it's really good, and when it's bad it's horrid.
     
  3. Xandra

    Xandra Active Member

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    I wish they didn't race them so young... I've heard that causes a lot of problems.

    I've heard a lot of racehorses get sent to slaughter (haven't checked out facts) and I don't like that much. If no one has a use for them as a racing/riding/competition animal then sure use them for meat, but especially now that the US has banned slaughter, to send the poor creature on a tractor trailer ride to another country just to kill it isn't very humane. Even where it's legal, the horses usually have to be trucked a ways. It would be better if there were many small local slaughterhouses, like we have for cattle.

    Overall though I'm not against the industry. I used to go to the local track when I was younger.

    We don't really have steeplechases here, I've wondered if that's a better way to race in some ways... surely the dud horses are more usable by the public if they have experience jumping (and I'd imagine they're raced a bit older?)
     
  4. Picklepaige

    Picklepaige Active Member

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    I really dislike the entire horse "industry". If horse sports were like dog sports (competitive, but not SUPERUBERSERIOUS, with the exception of greyhound racing) then I would have no problem with them. Even watching Rolex (super big equestrian 3-day eventing competition) I just get pissed off. Most horse riders and trainers haven't the slightest clue about animal behavior and it is sickening to watch. Watching the riders yank on those poor horse's mouths is gross. Your horse isn't throwing his head around because he's "crazy", he's throwing his head around because you are yanking on his bit and that hurts, and riders literally don't get that and look at me like I have a second head when I say that.

    I kind of went off topic here :rofl1:

    But for real, the horse industry is all kinds of messed up. I am so glad the dog world at least has a basic understanding of dog behavior and what causes pain.
     
  5. sillysally

    sillysally Obey the Toad.

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    I think there is good and bad. As a "horse person" I have just casual knowledge of thoroughbred racing, but have a but more experience with harness racers (Standardbreds). I have very mixed feelings about that particular sport. I used to own an off the track standardbred, and hung out in the barns/saw him race a few times before they sold him too me. He had suffered a ligament injury and the owners decided to give him MUCH less time off than was recommended for the injury because they didn't want to lose the whole racing season resting him (their explanation, not my assumption). He performed poorly after they started racing him again, despite them dosing him with NASIDs before the race. These owners were not bad people, and they seemed pretty well respected in the barns at at tracks I spent time at, but this just seemed to be the norm.

    After getting my gelding home we started attending to his leg (the ligament in question had bowed out sideways), and with about a year of recovery and treatment he was sound, and now spends his days as a pleasure riding horse for a lovely family. His alternative would have been to be sold to the Amish, used as a carriage horse until his injury caught up to him, and most likely sold at auction to meat buyers-most of the Amish are not going to feed a horse that's just sitting in recovery for a year.

    Also, it doesn't seem that Standardbreds have the same post racing opportunities that thoroughbreds do-TBs are more popular as sport horses and much of the horse industry is not well informed about STBs. After buying my gelding I had numerous people who had years of experience with horses express surprise that I intended to turn him into a riding horse, and had a well established trainer tell me, "You know those horses CAN'T canter, right?" (they are discouraged from cantering during race training so extra work has to be out into cantering when training as a riding horse, but they are certainly capable of it).

    The bottom line is that in any animal activity were money and egos are on the line there are going to be abuses. The hope is that responsible people within the community step up and self police before said abuses cause outside entities (federal government) to become involved.
     
  6. *blackrose

    *blackrose "I'm kupo for kupo nuts!"

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    That's kind of where I stand, too. Honestly, I don't know enough about it to have a real opinion.

    Also, I think horse slaughter is legal again in the US? (Ack, nevermind, in January it changed again. Which I think is stupid. But that's a whole 'nother can of worms.)
     
  7. sillysally

    sillysally Obey the Toad.

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    Eh, both the horse world and dog world have serious issues going on. In my experience dogs are FAR more likely to be owned by people who have zero clue about dog behavior than horses. Yes, you do see idiots at high levels if horse competition, but I get the impression that high levels of dog competition are not immune. In addition you have breeding issues--entire breeds of dogs in such a physical state that they cannot breed or give birth naturally, have what are essentially physical deformities being bred for, etc.

    Also, horses and dogs just tend to be viewed differently in general. You rarely "sell" an adult dog sold for money, it's "rehomed" for a "rebooming fee."
     
  8. xpaeanx

    xpaeanx Active Member

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    I grew up on the race track and I very much dislike horse racing. There are some good trainers out there that are good to their horses, but the vast majority of racing is pump them full of drugs, run them young, and use them up till they break.

    98% of my horses growing up were ex-racers. It'd take us a while to get them sane and sound again and then they were amazing horses. But it takes a lot of extra work and there's more horses than homes willing to put the work in. Just makes me sad.

    It's not really the racing that's the problem, it's that money is involved so it gets perverted. Just like everything else when money gets involved.
     
  9. Shai

    Shai & the Muttly Crew

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    ^ This is pretty much what I was going to say.

    There are a lot of good people in horses, and in racing, but there are also a lot of people who have no business being in charge of any animal's welfare.

    There are also some really great things being done on the transitioning of ex-racers front.

    I grew up as a big fan of horse racing but while I still like the racing of horses, the industry surrounding it needs serious work.
     
  10. JacksonsMom

    JacksonsMom Active Member

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    Thanks for all the insight.

    It was something I was never 100% comfortable with, like I said, but I know my step-dads horses seem to be very well taken care of. We keep up with the retired horses too, I'm FB friends with a few of the people that have the ex-racers and they lead great lives, but I realize this might not be the norm.
     
  11. Dekka

    Dekka Just try me..

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    Not a huge fan of racing, for the reasons mentioned. When too much money is at stake the horse's welfare becomes less of a concern. When people have many horses its even worse (this is why many racing stables at the high end are often 'factory' like)

    But I do love race horses themselves. My fave breed of horse is the TB.
     
  12. Fran101

    Fran101 Resident fainting goat

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    I don't know enough to really form a fair opinion.

    I like the movies lol and think the derby is fun to watch
     
  13. Dogdragoness

    Dogdragoness Happy Spring!!!!

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    Well .... as someone who makes their living in the racing industry, obviously I am in support of it. Of course there are bad apples but the picture animal rights jerks paint is not accurate either. MOST race horses (yes even claimers) are treated like the athletes they are. Of course there are injuries as there will be with any athlete (you should see how many injuries and how much care track runners and football players have! They're like race horses in human form).

    A reminder to any who want this stopped, most of us love our horses and couldn't imagine doing anything else. We are living our dream working with them.
     
  14. Dogdragoness

    Dogdragoness Happy Spring!!!!

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    I'm watching Secretariat and let me say that everything they say about good race horses in that movie is true, some horses, no matter what their level of competition just love to run and love the work, through all the aches and pains they might have, through all the moving around and everything.

    And when they get "ready" whether they are a claimers or a derby contender, it's an awesome thing to see :)
     
  15. Fran101

    Fran101 Resident fainting goat

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    I think the point they are making is that, unlike footballers/track stars, race horses don't choose their races or which injuries to just "push through"...they are pushed. Can you really KNOW they want to run?/how much of that is training/because they have to? etc..etc..

    Not that I agree. I mean, in a world where we eat cows without their consent it's hard to be that upset about racing horses without theirs.
     
  16. BostonBanker

    BostonBanker Active Member

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    My official stance is that I don't particularly like it, won't watch it live, and absolutely don't think it should be banned.

    There is plenty that is good in it, there is a lot that is bad. The good people shouldn't have their lives ruined because others suck. Were I unbelievably wealthy, I would start a series of races that pays a ridiculous purse and can't be entered until the horse is 5 years old.

    I do think the industry is making great strides in holding owners/trainers accountable for horses who fall through the cracks, although there is still a long way to go.

    I still won't watch it live. For the big races, I wait until a friend tells me that everyone came home safely, and then I will watch the recaps.
     
  17. Dogdragoness

    Dogdragoness Happy Spring!!!!

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    Yes, you know. That's part of being a good horsemen, that also where having good grooms is important too, because a good one (like the ones who work for our boss) will tell the trainer if a horse is sore or sick or just off that day.

    If any of our horses just aren't "feeling" it that day, we either take them easy of don't track them. If they just don't " have it" then they are rehomed, the Eisenhower a pretty good market In the barrel horse industry for OOTQHs and a market for OOTBs for hunters and other English disciplines.
     
  18. Paige

    Paige Let it be

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    I think the horse world needs to get with the times. I am not 100% only use positive reinforcement but horses are still trained a lot of the time in the horse version of Cesar Milan's style.

    I know a lot of people in the racing industry and I hate how disposable a lot of people treat their horses. Even if they don't treat them poorly they do seem to just hand them off to whoever will take them after they are d one their careers.

    I just wish horses were treated with more respect than they are. I have a bit of a clash g oing on with it as I am a vegan, I have been a horse person since I was little and I love training animals with positive reinforcement. I feel like my own ethics get all jumbled on horse back riding LOL

    I'd be happy if horses were treated more kindly and less like crappy cars that you just junk after you run them into the ground.
     
  19. Dogdragoness

    Dogdragoness Happy Spring!!!!

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    Not all people are like that, a lot of trainers from the Valley (west texas and northern mexico) are like that, but a good number of American trainers are good people. I won't work for someone who treats their horses badly.

    I pony race horses for a living, I have a pony horse. I am sure he would LOVE to just be left to do whatever he wants, unfortunately that isn't the reality, I have to make money to feed him, so in short, like me, if he wants to eat, he has to work too. I do not "run him in the ground" I either use him at night or in the morning, I don't do both but there are people who do, but ideally if you are going to pony in the morning and at night you need two horses, because its too hard on them. So instead I groom in the mornings and pony on race nights. Which means he works only 2-3 nights a week.

    Also, to agility and dog sports people: How do YOU know when and if your dog likes what they do? You cant "know " for sure, right? But I am sure you "just know". But since the dog cant verbally tell you, then perhaps you are "forcing" your dog to compete as well?

    Just saying.
     
  20. Snark

    Snark Mutts to you

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    I worked at the track as a groom (decades ago), and it was for a young trainer just starting out, so I think there was one allowance horse in the bunch, the rest were claimers. We took darned good care of those horses, and that trainer did his best to get them ready to run and pick a race they could do well in. The idea is to win races, and if you abuse or run those horses into the ground, well, that kinda defeats the purpose, doesn't it?

    Saying these horses are forced to run is kinda like saying Huskies and other sled dogs are forced to run as well. So why can dogs love to run, but not horses?

    I do wish TBs weren't raced so early but some of that is the government's fault. Used to be horsemen could write off their expenses in raising these thoroughbreds but now they can't and owners want to see some return for all the money they sink into their horses. If they don't show a profit within seven years, the IRS can declare their business is a hobby and they can't write off anything.
     

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